Small Wars Journal

Landpower Update and New Lead Article

Landpower Update and New Lead Article

Our new Landpower lead article is Balancing The Joint Force: Defense and Military Challenges Through 2020 by Dr John R. Deni. Most of the military demands generated by the national security environment are likely to center on so-called “Phase 0," or shaping, activities, not on the necessity of fighting or even preparing to fight another great power. These sorts of activities are not nearly as interesting or compelling for some as planning for war with China, preparing to counter area denial capabilities of the Iranian military, or devising plans for rolling back a North Korean invasion of the South but they are what is in the future for our military.

We have added two new regionally focused reports to Landpower:

PACOM: The Chinese People's Liberation Army and Information Warfare

On November 23, 2013, the Chinese government announced plans to establish a new air defense intercept zone which will include the Diaoyu or Senkaku Islands, sovereignty over which is disputed by Japan, China, and Taiwan. Due to complaints of cyber penetrations attributed to the Chinese People’s Liberation Army, U.S. Departments of Justice, Homeland Security, and State are devising new means to protect intellectual property and secrets from the PLA’s computer network operations. This monograph explains how the PLA is revising its operational doctrine to meet what it sees as the new mode of “integrated, joint operations” for the 21st century. An understanding of the PLA’s new concepts are important for U.S. and allied military leaders and planners.

EUCOM: Turkey-Kurdish Regional Government Relations After the U.S. Withdrawal From Iraq: Putting the Kurds on the Map?

The withdrawal of U.S. combat forces from Iraq at the end of 2011 left behind a set of unresolved problems in the relationship between the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), and the Federal Government in Baghdad—notably relating to the disputed boundaries of the KRG, and the extent of its autonomy. Tensions have since been compounded by the discovery of significant quantities of oil and gas in the KRG area, and Erbil’s pursuit of an energy policy independent of and in opposition to Baghdad. Turkey, uneasy with the increasingly sectarian and authoritarian flavor of the Shia-dominated government in Baghdad, has since moved closer to the KRG, not least with respect to energy issues, deepening Turkish-Iraqi tensions still further. Added to the mix is the increasingly sectarian standoff in the region as a whole, in large measure as a consequence of Syrian developments, which has further pitted Ankara against Baghdad and its ally Iran; and the emergence of a bid for autonomy by Syria’s Kurds, which has complicated the stance of both Ankara and Erbil toward Syria and towards each other. Washington is in danger of being left behind by the fast-paced events in the region, while the ethnic Kurds of the region may be approaching a decisive moment in their long struggle for self-determination.

And one for CYBER: Legality in Cyberspace: An Adversary View

While conflict in cyberspace is not new, the legality of hostile cyber activity at a state level remains imperfectly defined. While there is broad agreement among the United States and its allies that cyber warfare would be governed by existing laws of armed conflict, with no need for additional treaties or conventions to regulate hostilities online, this view is not shared by many nations that the United States could potentially face as adversaries. The author illustrates the very distinct set of views on the nature of conflict in cyberspace that pertains to Russia. He provides an important window into Russian thinking and explains how fundamental Russian assumptions on the nature of cyber activity need to be considered when countering, or engaging with, Russian cyber initiatives.

We hope you will enjoy these insightful works and we look forward to your feedback thru Landpower.

Scott